Today was rockin'!
Not me. I rarely rock it. The kids were rockin' it!
Last night, I spent over an hour calling parents, grandparents and guardians. The conversations went something like:
Me: "Hi, this is Mr. Aion from the school. I'm your child's (grandchild's) math teacher. How are you?"
Them: "...Fiiiiiiine. How are you?"
Me: "I'm doing well, thank you. I just wanted to give you a quick call to let you know that (student) has really been doing an excellent job in class lately. The work has been getting harder and can tell (student) is getting frustrated, but has been sticking with. They've been helping other students in the class and are genuinely a pleasure to have there."
Me: "But nothing. I don't think we do a good enough job with calling home when students are doing well. We only ever call when something is wrong and I think that's a problem. Nothing is wrong. Your child is doing well and working hard and I wanted to let you know."
At this point, they either expressed deep thanks and shock at being told this, or they said "ok. Thanks. Have a nice day" and hung up in confusion.
I've done this before, gone down my roster and called as many families as I could to give a good note. I often have high-minded ideals that I'll call everyone on my list, but I forget how long each call takes. Last night, I stopped because it got to late to call. I managed to get through two of my larger classes. Since I knew I wouldn't get to everyone, I started at the end of my roster, the end of my day. Those two are my more challenging classes so I thought it was more important to start there.
I wanted to remind myself, as well as them, about the good things that they are doing. I made a conscious effort make sure I had a good comment for the kids who are most challenging for me.
Today, the halls were abuzz with kids talking about how I called their houses. The kids whose homes I called were awesome! They paid attention, took notes, volunteered to put problems on the board and helped explain concepts to each other.
The kids whose homes I didn't call, even more so. Maybe they wanted a good call for themselves, or maybe they didn't want the other kids to know that they didn't get one.
Students stayed after school today to work on homework and several came to my room throughout the day to ask questions.
I need to make good calls home more often...